Josie is developing into a very cute little human. She loves to fill her arms with soft stuffed animals, especially when we get her out of bed, she has to have all her binkies and at least 2 stuffed animals. I'm pretty sure a baby loving on stuffed animals is one of the perks in life. This week she also took to toting around her favorite books (Bubble Guppies Colors, Baby Feet Like..., Elmo flip and find, and several others). She'd whine until I let her sit in my lap and read her favorites over and over. Her jabbering is more defined lately. The other day I swear she said "Phillip" clear as can be. She also read me her favorite book one morning. We smile as she gets excited when handed her favorite toys. Mia loves to make her say "Doh" just like Mia did as a baby. Josie loves to say "Hi Dad!" when calling Justin.
Jakob offered to take the kids swimming from 1-5 Monday afternoon. The kids got to play, I got to work on editing, and Josie got to nap. It felt like a win-win to me! Our FHE lesson was taught by me. We learned about the history behind the 4th of July, that it was the date our nation declared independence. We learned some fun facts then watched a short animation depicting the events of that day. Our activity was to go watch the city fireworks in the back of the truck. Several other LDS families gathered in the church parking lot to watch as well. Evelyn was pretty scared because of the loud noises and bright flashes. Towards the end of the show she loosened up enough to identify her favorite colors. The kids nursed soda pop in glass bottles and little bags of candy we got for the event. Josie was pretty funny at first. She made a cute surprised face and would say: "Ooooooooooo!" My favorite part was the one firework that was set off 3 minutes after the show ended. I think all the fireworks the neighbors light up are better than the official Sidney show. Cracks and bangs echoed clear until midnight both the 3rd and the 4th, the previous 8 days were bad but those two days are tremendous. Evelyn was so tired she zonked out on the short drive home.
Independence day dawned with bright, clear, and blue skies. The kids excitedly put on their 4th of July clothes so we could enjoy a day in Sterling, CO. The Overland Museum hosted a Pioneer style 4th of July party. We arrived shortly after the event started. Parking was diverted to the Justice Center and folks bussed over to the museum. Evelyn was pleased to finally ride a bus. We visited this particular museum last year, the kids were excited to come back and visit again. A live band played old-time marching music. The entire village was decorated with flag buntings on all the rails, hand cut flag decorations, and lots of patriotic colors. The kids got their faces painted while I ordered food from the fire department booth. I had to laugh over Everett's choice of face paint: a glass of lemonade, the patron and I laughed over the novelty. The kids soon had fried chicken grease smeared on hands and faces. Cold watermelon, potato and macaroni salad, a roll, and root beer to chase it all down. Sure seemed like a noteworthy Patriotic meal! Everett insisted on waiting in line to play a carnival game. He waited for a long time out in the sun. He lost the game and found us with a glum face, near tears. Phillip, that kind-hearted boy, gathered Everett in a brotherly hug to comfort him. The kids really enjoyed the gas station and the train caboose. The heat was quickly sapping our energy so we finished our tour and headed back to the van. We spent the rest of our afternoon swimming at the pool. Our friends the Jenson's showed up unexpectedly so we enjoyed some friend time as well. The pool closed as we walked out at 5 pm. All the kids were ravenous and unwilling to wait for dinner at home. So...off to McDonald's playhouse for more playing, food, and rest. I cheated and grabbed a Jimmy John's sandwich for Amelia and I since McD's is gross. Amelia lost a tooth while enjoying her sandwich. She did not tell me about the loose tooth because I like to pull them, this one came out on its own. She proudly showed off her 4th of July tooth to me! Evelyn was most impressed, excited the tooth fairy was coming back. On our way home the setting sun turned all the waiting wheat fields into the literal "amber waves of grain." I made the kids wade through cheatgrass and stickers to stand next to a wheat field. Evelyn was having no part of this idea, she turned her back on me, which actually made the photo I captured pretty amazing. I'm glad the kids went along with my idea...all for a handful of Swedish Fish. All day we wished Justin could be with us to celebrate. He spent the day with the Auxiers in Chandler. Poor Vader must have gotten a touch of heat sickness since he barfed on the carpet a couple times after we got home. It was a scorcher. Evelyn was beside herself when all the fireworks started going off once dusk settled. Even with her "boom protectors" she was reluctant to come outside. I scared her inside when I made her hold a sparkler for a moment, she was DONE, done after that small second. The boys were very excited to set off the little pile we purchased at the Haley's firework stand. Amelia thought I had no pyrotechnic skills...well, I do! Our house shook until well after midnight from all the explosions. Those who suffer from PTSD, please do not come to Sidney during the last week June and first part of July. Pretty much feels like a war zone.
We needed a down day so stayed at home the next day working on laundry, cleaning the house, and resting. The kids were soooooo bored, so bored they came up with an idea to hold a circus. I played the rotating sprinkler system for them as they danced in the water. Amelia dumped apples in the baby pool to bob for apples. Seemed like something pretty good came from all that boredom.
Thursday afternoon Jakob insisted he take the kids swimming again all afternoon. I about cried on my drive home thinking of his willingness to help without asking. Bless that teenaged soul! I busted through the rest of the sessions I had on tap to edit. Yes! I was even able to burn the discs and get everything ready to deliver. I cleaned up the first floor of our house that night while the kids watched a movie. Two families are interested in looking at our home to possibly rent if Cabela's maintains it's presence in Sidney. The board is meeting this coming week to hash out details and vote.
The kids did a great job cleaning up the basement next morning. We left for the day once the house was clean to keep it that way until the folks toured our home. We spent a lovely afternoon at Bridgeport Lake. Evelyn dressed herself in a swimsuit with underwear over the top! Once again we picked up Ella to spend the afternoon with us. Rachel Godard came along with her two small kids as well. She loved it! We love it! The lake is so relaxing and laid back, often the pool feels cramped and hectic. At the lake we can spread out and not worry so much. The kids have fun in the water and just as much fun in the sand.
I was out of it on Saturday. Just felt blech. The kids were bored at 9 am, way to early for whining. I tasked them to host another Lemonade Stand. Yahoo! The kids were excited to make a couple dollars sitting in 90+ degree weather. Phillip and Everett bailed after an hour, preferring to play magnatiles and play dough inside. I made another trip to Salvation Army for donations. Amelia invited Rachel over to help her man the lemonade stand. The girls sure enjoyed walking down to Safeway for cold drinks and candy with their earnings.
The power went off Sunday afternoon for 10-15 minutes. The kids thought the world was ending, the silence was noticeable! Everett's first words were: "Mom, what will we do with all this darkness?!" Glad we did not have to worry about that. Instead we headed outside where it seemed the rest of Sidney had the same idea. Without electronics to keep us inside everyone headed outside! We got to visit with our neighbors and play outside!